Homecoming turned into a coming out party for the University of Richmond football team's running game as the Spiders crushed Georgetown University 48-0 on Saturday afternoon at UR Stadium.
Richmond tailback Josh Vaughan rushed for a career-high 157 yards and two touchdowns while freshman tailback Garrett Wilkins rushed for 86 yards and two touchdowns, the first touchdowns of his collegiate career. Senior fullback Shawn White also rushed for his first career touchdown. The team rushed for 300 yards on 54 carries overall.
"Being a true freshman, I had a lot of nerves," Wilkins said. "Josh [Vaughan] is a big guy, and I'm kind of like a slasher, so I think we complemented each other well."
The Richmond defense also dominated the Hoyas, forcing four turnovers and allowing only 88 yards during the entire game. Georgetown managed only four first downs during the game and none during the first half. Senior safety Brooks York and sophomore linebacker Patrick Weldon led the Spiders in tackles with eight.
It was the first shutout of the season for the Spider defense. The last time the team held its opponent scoreless was last October against Stony Brook University.
"We put together a complete game," Weldon said of the efforts on offense and defense.
Richmond started the scoring less than two minutes into the game on a one-yard touchdown run by quarterback Eric Ward. The drive was set up when Georgetown quarterback James Brady threw an interception to Richmond safety Mike Ireland during the team's opening drive.
The Spiders were held scoreless for the rest of the first quarter, but scored two more touchdowns and added a 25-yard field goal from Brian Radford during the second quarter to take a 24-0 lead at halftime.
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Place kicker Andrew Howard did not play during the first half because of what head coach Mike London called "an internal matter." In his place, London inserted senior quarterback Will Healy to kick the extra points.
"Will [Healy] has been kicking and punting at practice," London said. "It was kind of like [the movie] 'Rudy'. He kept asking me for a chance [to kick]."
Healy took advantage of his opportunity and made all three of his kicks.
Richmond came out strong again during the second half, scoring two touchdowns during the first six minutes of the half to increase the lead to 38-0. Howard, who was allowed to play during the second half, added a 26-yard field goal and Shawn White's one-yard run in the fourth quarter capped the scoring for the Spiders.
Though the Spiders dominated throughout the game, they did turn the ball over three times on two fumbles and an interception. The interception, thrown by Ward, was his first in 141 consecutive passing attempts and ended a streak of six-straight games without an interception.
Richmond scored on eight of its nine times in the red zone and converted on its only fourth-down attempt. Redshirt freshman Ryan Sweeney, junior Collin McConaghy and junior Nicholas Battle each recovered fumbles for the Spiders.
Georgetown used four different quarterbacks in the game, but none of them were effective as the team gained only eight yards passing during the game.
Though the Hoyas, who fall to 1-6 with the loss, did not provide much of a challenge for the Spiders, London was glad that his team played to its potential.
"In a game like this you are always worried about complacency," he said. "We weren't complacent."
With the win, Richmond's record improved to 6-3 with three tough conference games remaining, London said.
The team is off this week and will use it to rest some injured players and improve on some little things, London and Vaughan said.
"It will be good to get a chance to rest and straighten up the kinks," Vaughan said of the coming off-week.
The Spiders next game is on Nov. 8 against Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y. The team returns home the following week for a CAA South match-up against the University of Delaware on Nov. 15 at UR Stadium.
With the postseason still far from being settled, London said that the Spiders cannot afford to slip up.
"We have to play every game ... and we've gotta be able to win on the road," he said.
Contact staff writer Reilly Moore at email@example.com
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